By Susan Harper
Every time I walk into our new library, my heart soars up to that high white ceiling in the newest part, those beautiful beams we agonized over (should they be white? should they be natural wood? should they be there at all?), and those tall windows that let in so much light. And then I’m thankful all over again that Commerce is my home: a real library town — a town that started its library from scratch nearly 75 years ago and built it up, over years of hard work and consistent dedication, to this astonishingly beautiful facility.
Meanwhile, all around us, the winds of change are blowing. Libraries that have stood for decades as models of architectural beauty and have inspired millions to pursue learning are now “gloriously inflated book boxes,” according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, and their relevance “is being questioned in an age that looks to the Internet for its intellectual resources.”